Flight Plan

Effect: The four aces are removed from the pack and the balance of the cards are put away. The performer squeezes the packet of aces and one immediately flies to his right-side coat pocket. With a clearly empty hand, he draws the ace of clubs from the pocket and returns it to the packet. The four aces are counted, then given another squeeze. Instantly, the ace of hearts flies to the right-side coat pocket. Again, with an empty hand, the ace is brought forth, displayed and returned to the packet.

The performer now offers to explain how the aces are made to travel. "When you're not looking, I make a magic pass between the packet and my pocket." He squeezes the packet and brings his hand away in a suspiciously cramped fashion, moving it to the right coat pocket.

"That causes the ace of spades to fly to my left coat pocket." His explanation proves to be only a teasing feint, as he reaches with the empty left hand into his left-side coat pocket and brings out the third ace. The four cards are counted once more, then squeezed. This causes the last ace, the diamond, to pass to the right pocket.

Method: The handling for this packet cards-to-pocket presentation is prettily contrived. Every time an ace is made to pass, the hand fetching it is seen empty before entering the pocket; and no duplicate cards are used. In fact, if one wishes, the aces can all be signed before they travel.

Begin by running through the deck and locating the aces. As you come to each, openly shift it to the face of the pack. When you have gathered all four, arrange them in a sequence familiar to you, set in four-three-two-one order from the face. For example, if you choose to use CHaSeD order (as we will for this description), the aces would read diamond-spade-heart-club from face to back. Then shift the foremost card to the back of the setup, rearranging the suits into three-two-one-four order: from the face, spade-heart-club-diamond. This arrangement can, of course, be done in one step. Here it has been broken into two purely for clarity. The ordering of the suits is not strictly necessary, but it allows you to name each ace confidently as it travels to the pocket.

As you arrange the aces, push over the first indifferent card beneath them and catch a left fourth-finger break below it. When the aces are in order, bring the right hand palm-down over the deck and roughly square them. Immediately lift the five cards above the break from the pack, apparently taking Just the aces. With the left thumb and fingers, revolve the balance of the pack face-down, adjusting it into dealing grip. In doing this, it is an easy task to push over the top card slightly and procure a fourth-linger break beneath it.

Since you have left the right hand's packet slightly unsquared, you now have a reason to bring the packet over the deck, for you must finish squaring the aces. Move the face-up packet directly over the deck and run the left thumb and fingertips along the opposite edges of the packet. In this squaring action, secretly pick up the top card of the pack, taking it beneath the packet, but maintaining a right thumb break between It and the cards above.

You will now plainly display the aces and. In the process, steal one ace from the packet, employing an ATFUS handling. With the left thumb, draw the uppermost ace, the spade, face-up and square onto the face-down deck. Name it as you do this. Then, again with the left thumb, draw the second ace, the heart, over the first—but at the same time load the face-down indifferent card over the first ace as you draw the second onto the pack. Do this by extending the left fourth finger to the right, under the right hand's packet, and with its tip engage the inner right corner of the face-down card (Figure 151). Then, as the thumb pulls the second ace square onto the pack, release the right thumb's pressure on the separated face-down card and, with the left fourth finger, push it flush with the deck. As you move the left hand smoothly to the left with the pack, and the remaining right-hand cards slide from beneath the second ace. press the left fourth fingertip to the side of the pack, catching a break under the ace of hearts.

Continue the display without a pause, by drawing the third ace onto the deck, and laying the last ace—actually a

double card—onto the third, but stepped inward for about a quarter of an inch.

After completing this display of the aces, bring the right hand palm-up to the deck and remove the packet above the break by pinching it at its right edge, right thumb above and fingertips (entering the break) below (Figure 152), All looks as it should; however, the ace of spades is hidden face-up beneath the face-down top card of the deck.

"The aces are the only cards we need for this next trick." With the left hand, casually deposit the deck in the left-side coat pocket. Then bring the left hand, empty and palm-down, to the right hand's packet. Grasp the packet by its opposite edges, left thumb on the right side, fingertips on the left (Figure 153), and rotate the left hand palm-up, turning the packet face-down. Bring the right hand palm-down over the packet, ostensibly to adjust the cards to dealing position. But in this action, you palm the top two aces. The step that you have maintained makes the palm almost automatic. As you bring the right hand over the packet, contact the front end of the forward aces with the fingertips, and the inner left corner of the lower pair with the thumbtip. If you now press down lightly with right thumb and fingers, bowing the lower cards downward, the top two aces will be levered neatly up into the right palm (Figure 154). In a continuing action, lower the remaining bottom pair of cards into left-hand dealing grip and move the right hand away, aces palmed. (This

palming method is a two-handed variant of the one-handed spring palm described on page 224-225.)

The palming action is rapid and invisible; yet it should be done in a casual fashion while you look away from the hands and address the audience. Almost immediately move the right hand to the right-side coat pocket and drop off the palmed aces as you remove some object from the pocket that you have thoughtfully left there to provide the right hand a reason for its action. The spectators should think you are merely emptying the pocket in preparation for the trick. Set the removed object aside.

Let's pause a moment to consider the current situation. Though to the audience you have so far done nothing but remove the aces from the pack and display them, in an admirably brief time you have maneuvered three of the aces secretly to your coat pockets, and are holding one ace and an indifferent card in your left hand. You are already three steps ahead of your audience.

Bring the right hand palm-down over the left hand's packet and squeeze the cards between your palms. "That makes the first ace, the ace of clubs, leave the others and fly to my pocket." Lift the right hand from the packct and perform a Stanyon-type false count, counting the two cards you hold as three. That is, adjust the packet to left-hand pinch grip and draw the top card into right-hand dealing grip. (The idea of using a right-hand dealing grip for the St any on count was first suggested in print by Edward Mario, ref. M-U-M, Vol. 49, No. 7, Dec. 1959, p. 290, though Mr. Elmsley learned this handling in 1954 from his friend, Eric de la Mare, who had independently conceived the idea In England.) As the right hand returns to the packet to take the second card, secretly slip the first card underneath the packet and reclaim it with the left fingertips while the right thumb draws the second card onto the right palm. In other words, the two hands exchange their cards in the guise of a counting action. Finish the count by taking the left hand's card onto that in the right hand, counting it as three.

Transfer the packet to the left hand. Then, with an obviously empty right hand, reach into your right-side coat pocket and bring out the card nearest your body. This will the first ace of your memorized suit order. Display the ace of clubs and drop it face-down onto the packet.

Squeeze the packet between the palms again. "That causes the next ace, the ace of hearts, to fly to my pocket." Legitimately count the cards in the packet, reversing their order as you simulate the actions of the Stanyon count just used. Only three cards remain. Ret alee the packet into the left hand and, with the empty right hand, bring forth from the right-side coat pocket the ace of hearts. Display it and slip it to the bottom of the packet. The cards from top to face now read: ace of diamonds, indifferent card, ace of clubs, ace of hearts.

Casually spread the cards between the hands, showing four; then, as you square them back into the left hand, form a left fourth-finger break under the top two cards,

"111 tell you how it's done. When you're not looking, I make a magic pass between the cards and my pocket..." As this is said, you perform a bold maneuver, cunningly disguised as a feint:

Bring the right hand over the packet and perform a squeezing action, similar to those you have previously used. This time, though, you palm the top two cards. In doing so, purposely hold the hand in a cramped manner, with the thumb sticking out to the side. You wish to create an almost comical impression of palming a card, without actually letting the palmed cards be seen.

Move the palsied hand to your right-side coat pocket and deposit the palmed cards there without hesitation. As you remove the hand from the pocket, continue your explanation: .. and that malíes the ace of spades fly to my left pocket." Pass the packet from the left hand to the right, let your left hand be seen empty, then reach into your left pocket and produce the ace of spades. Since it lies second from the top of the deck, there should be no fumbling or hesitation in bringing it out.

At this point, if your acting has been convincing, your crude and open palming from the packet a moment before will be dismissed by the audience as a humorous feint and nothing more. As I said, it is a bold maneuver, but an effective one.

Place the ace of spades face-down on the packet and perform a Stanyon count, counting the three cards as four. Then squeeze the packet between your palms and, with the empty right hand, go to the right pocket and produce the ace of diamonds. It is the farthest card of the pair from your body. You are left holding just the four aces, as you should be, and each has in turn flown to a pocket. The indifferent card that aided their flights rests in the right coat pocket and can be left there or secretly added to the deck when the audience's attention has relaxed.

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